Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 2013

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon 5
Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante 4
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner 2
We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler 1
Nevada by Imogen Binnie 1
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes 1
A Girl If A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride 1
The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre 0
Children Of The Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani 0
The Childhood Of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee 0
Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson 0
The Age Of Reinvention by Karine Tuil 0
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche 0
The Last Of The Vostiaks by Diego Marani 0
Che In Paona Bazaar by Kishalay Bhattacharjee 0
The Festival Of Insignificance by Milan Kundera 0
Frankenstein In Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi 0
Space Invaders by Nona Fernández 0
See You Tomorrow by Tore Renberg 0
The Queue by Abdel Aziz 0
Pyre by Perumal Murugan 0
The Man I Became by Peter Verheist 0
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton 0
How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia by Moshin Hamid 0
Hour Of The Wolf by Andrius Tapinas 0
The Core Of The Sun by Johanna Sinisalo 0
The Seventh Day by Yu Hua 0
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood 0
The Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan 0
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo 0
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 0
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie 0
The Book Of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor 0
The Circle by Dave Eggers 0
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan 0
Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem 0
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King 0
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger 0
A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki 0
The Suiciders by Travis Jeppesen 0
All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld 0
The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan 0
Mr.Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo 0
The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble 0
The Quarry by Iain Banks 0
The Black Coat by Neamat Imam 0


Daniel_Rf, Friday, 3 December 2021 12:05 (one month ago) link

by this point, prominent contemporary literature had firmly signalled its handwringingly solipsistic We Are All Having Conversations With Ourselves intentions

imago, Friday, 3 December 2021 12:09 (one month ago) link

that said with so much getting released there's bound to be some gold hiding amongst the diary murk. please indicate where, ILX

imago, Friday, 3 December 2021 12:10 (one month ago) link

Total blank for me.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 3 December 2021 12:19 (one month ago) link

I’ve read, let’s see, three of these. Voted for The Flamethrowers without thinking twice - it’s a novel that brought me a lot of pleasure on various levels. Due for a reread.

The Circle is ridiculous to a lot of people (as is its author, and I can’t read most of his books) but I appreciate what it does.

Bleeding Edge was the first Pynchon I read where I rolled my eyes and thought “maybe he’s overrated.” It felt empty to me and it was weird to read a TP novel where he was writing about an era where I was fully sentient.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 3 December 2021 12:29 (one month ago) link

The only Tartt novel I ever read was her debut, which is among my 20-30 favorite novels by anyone. For some reason I’m afraid that reading subsequent novels will ruin The Secret History for me (and the plot summaries I’ve encountered haven’t been encouraging). Go figure.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 3 December 2021 12:31 (one month ago) link

"maybe he's getting old" strikes me as a more charitable sentiment than "maybe he's overrated", i mean he had a decent run

imago, Friday, 3 December 2021 12:35 (one month ago) link

I’ve read Crazy Rich Asians about a million times and I have MaddAdam on my shelf to be read. Crazy Rich Asians and the sequels are much better than the film - though the exquisite Gemma Chan is just 😍 - ofc there’s a lot to like about this trilogy but the footnotes are sublime; a mix of dialect explanations and cultural context, like so:

74. The exotic Black and White houses of Singapore are a singular architectural style found nowhere else in the world. Combining Anglo-Indian features with the English Arts and Crafts movement, these white-painted bungalows with black trim detailing were ingeniously designed for tropical climes. Originally built to house well-to-do colonial families, they are now extremely coveted and available only to the crazy rich ($40 million for starters, and you might have to wait several decades for a whole family to die)

75. Cantonese for “what a waste of money.”

76. Hokkien for “bitch me out” (or slang that translates to “cry to the father and cry to the mother”).

mardheamac (gyac), Friday, 3 December 2021 12:39 (one month ago) link

Fair enough, imago.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 3 December 2021 12:46 (one month ago) link

No one here read this?

A Girl If A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

It's ok though I won't vote for it.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 3 December 2021 13:08 (one month ago) link

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Ancillary Justice is v good even though she leans a bit hard on the tea and gloves stuff. Nothing against The Flamethrowers but it didn't compel me to read any more by her. We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves was enjoyable, The Goldfinch was an ok shaggy dog story but not a patch on The Secret History. The Narrow Road etc is typical worthy but dull booker stuff. Ferrante great obv.

namaste darkness my old friend (ledge), Friday, 3 December 2021 13:51 (one month ago) link

Voting Flamethrowers, nice to have a literary novel tackling the Years of Lead to go with my many trashy Italian crime flicks on the subject.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 3 December 2021 14:10 (one month ago) link

> MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

does this mean we skipped Oryx and Crake? 8(

Ancillary Justice didn't grab me enough to read the next one.

and the only other is A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki which popped up in facebook reminders a couple of days ago.

"japanese / american writer writes about a japanese / american writer who finds the diary of a japanese girl. takes in the tsunami and kamikaze pilots and japanese attitudes to suicide. was ok."

koogs, Friday, 3 December 2021 16:56 (one month ago) link

Back to Ferrante for me, easy. I remember basically liking Ancillary Justice but being disappointed by the ending. The whole Oryx and Crake trilogy was really well-done despite being slightly ridiculous from an SF standpoint; have no memory now of which parts of it constituted MadAddam. Americanah was pretty bad. Flamethrowers seemed objectively good but somehow I couldn't make myself read more than 60 pages of it. Doctor Sleep is pretty standard for late-era King; he stuck everything in there that he could think of, some of it definitely works, a lot of it doesn't, you can read it very fast.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 3 December 2021 18:01 (one month ago) link

Was hoping for something that would tempt me to think,"This Ferrante pulls its weight in the quartet, but, as a stand-alone, this other thing works better." But the only choice I've read is the Karen Joy Fowler, which, by standards she set early on, is not that remarkable, although it is distinctive, and a satisfying read: about a family whose scientist Dad decided that it would be a good idea to adopt a chimp, or that's what his other kids thought he was doing---but at a certain point, she was gone: too much trouble, experiment done. Traumatic for all concerned, incl. parents, esp. as they feel some of the kids' pain and anger and confusion--shared by a number of real life families, as the narrator discovers. She's remembering all this once more, finally determined to find out what happened to her primate sister (still alive, in the States) and reclaim, reconfigure her sense of the family---also goes into what campus life is like in relatively recent past, other aspects of various eras---really good! But not (this time) w the kind of drive that Ferrante continues to provide in volume three of the Neapolitans.

dow, Friday, 3 December 2021 18:31 (one month ago) link

shared by a number of real life families with scientist Dads who etc.

dow, Friday, 3 December 2021 18:33 (one month ago) link

Nevada by Imogen Binnie

not a perfect book by any means but lifechanging

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Friday, 3 December 2021 20:11 (one month ago) link

The only one I've read is "Crazy Rich Asians", which is interesting as a peek into the lives of wealthy Singaporeans.

o. nate, Friday, 3 December 2021 21:03 (one month ago) link

enjoyed 'I am Pilgrim' a lot in a race through it page turner kinda way. will vote for Karen Joy Fowler over it cos that is one of my favourite books of the decade.

oscar bravo, Friday, 3 December 2021 22:22 (one month ago) link

if you feel like you want to read a remarkable, true-to-life trans narrative i really recommend nevada; the things i was prepared to not like about it (the bloggy voice mainly) end up being too charming to deny, and it ends in a really unresolved place that feels earned by how densely it explores the identities of its two main characters

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Friday, 3 December 2021 22:42 (one month ago) link

the second half takes place in my home state (nv of course, but in a nowhere-ass northern nevada town that springs up around a wal-mart, god knows i've driven through that town) and the first takes place in my (not very) new home (nyc), i was helpless

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Friday, 3 December 2021 22:44 (one month ago) link

I guess my vote would be a write-in for James Salter's "All That Is".

o. nate, Saturday, 4 December 2021 04:09 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 6 December 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

‘flamethrowers’ would be a great film adaptation. italian labor struggle, 70s nyc art scene, motorcycle wipe outs on salt flats, cousin-kissing soap opera plot twists. somehow the novel was a bit boring

flopson, Monday, 6 December 2021 00:13 (one month ago) link

The only one I've read is "Crazy Rich Asians", which is interesting as a peek into the lives of wealthy Singaporeans.

― o. nate, Friday, December 3, 2021 9:03 PM (three days ago) bookmarkflaglink

are they also unhinged, by chance?

Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Monday, 6 December 2021 03:19 (one month ago) link

nevada sounds really intriguing

Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Monday, 6 December 2021 03:23 (one month ago) link

are they also unhinged, by chance?

Not really. I think the "crazy" is an adverb modifying "rich" not an adjective describing the Asians.

o. nate, Monday, 6 December 2021 16:30 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 2014

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 11:51 (one month ago) link


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